Analytic Geometry

What Does Analytic Geometry Mean?

Analytic geometry is a kind of geometry using a coordinate system. The kind familiar to most people is the two-dimensional plane using the x and y-axes. Three-dimensional analytic geometry adds a z-axis. Both the 2-D and 3-D versions of analytic geometry are widely used in computer graphics to place objects on the screen.


Analytic geometry is also known as Cartesian geometry or Coordinate geometry.

Techopedia Explains Analytic Geometry

Analytic geometry is a branch of geometry that represents objects using a coordinate system. It is heavily used in science and engineering.

The two-dimensional version of analytic geometry is typically taught in secondary school algebra courses, and is the version most people have encountered. This features x and y coordinates, representing horizontal and vertical movements, respectively. X and y coordinates are represented as an ordered pair. A point located where x=2 and y=3 would be written as (2,3). Negative numbers refer to the left-hand side of a plane for x and the bottom half for y. The axes converge at the origin, where both the x and y axes converge, represented as (0,0).

3-D geometry adds a z-axis. The z-axis refers to vertical pair and the y-axis is flipped to represented movement toward and away from the viewer on a horizontal plane.

Analytic geometry is obviously very important to computer graphics, including computer games. Coordinates are used to place objects on the screen. To accommodate different screen sizes and resolutions, the origin is placed in one of the corners on the screen, typically in the top left corner.


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Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…